Restrictive abortion laws as torture in international law

Claire-Michelle Smyth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the changing contours of the right to be free from torture, cruel inhuman and degrading treatment in international law, certain international tribunals have begun to use this right to adjudicate upon abortion issues. UN Committees and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) have determined that in certain circumstances the denial of abortion, whether through excessively restrictive laws or procedures, can amount to a breach of this right. This article examines the developing jurisprudence of these international bodies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-131
Number of pages5
JournalIrish Law Times
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Abortion
  • Inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
  • Torture


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